What was the name of David’s second son, Chileab or Daniel?

Posted on Jun.03, 2009. Filed in 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles. Average rating: 2.0 / 10 (Rate It).

Both 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles list the six sons of David born to him in Hebron. The two lists are in perfect agreement, except concerning the name of the second son, who was born to Abigail.

In 2 Samuel, the name of the second son is given as Chileab:

Sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, of David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron. [2 Samuel 3:2-5]

According to 1 Chronicles, though, the second son’s name was Daniel:

These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite; the third Absalom, son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; the fourth Adonijah, son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth Ithream, by his wife Eglah; six were born to him in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years and six months. [1 Chronicles 3:1-4a]

So what was the name of David’s second son, Chileab or Daniel?

N.B. All posts are written in a style sympathetic to the claim of Biblical error, even in cases where the author ("Errancy") disagrees with the claim. See the About page for the site's philosophy.

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    Most commentators simply assume that Chileab and Daniel are the same person.

    The medieval Rabbi Rashi commented that the God made the son of Abigail look very much like David to still suspicions that the child was the son of Abigail’s recently dead husband Nabal. The name “Chileab” means “Like his father”. So the idea is that the child’s birth name was Daniel, but he was later called Chileab.

    The online ISBE offers the more prosaic story that the Samuel manuscript is corrupt (this is based on comparison with the Septuagint which renders Chileab as Dalouia — “restraint of the father”). Copy errors and manuscript damage do not weigh against the doctrine of inerrancy.

    Either way, it does not seem to be much of a stretch to say that “Chileab” and “Daniel” refer to the same person.

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